Yesterday over 50 pastors and their wives attended the first of our three 1-day pastor’s conferences. I was humbled by their presence. These pastors serve small churches (50 people or less), are very poor, and don’t own transportation beyond a bike. The night before (Sunday night) a deluge of rain washed out the road that lead up the mountain to the church where we held the conference. Because they count on small three-wheeled vehicles, called moto-taxis, to carry them up the mountain, they were stuck. Eventually the drivers themselves fixed the ruts and the pastors arrived.
We face a language barrier since only one in our team speaks Spanish. But the three translators we hired are quite good. One is not a believer and we are trusting God to open her heart to Him.
With no air-conditioning, the heat in the rooms we teach approaches 95. I taught the first session after lunch. You can imagine the challenge I faced contending with full stomachs, sleepy brains, the awkward delivery through translation, and the incessant heat. But, the Nicaraguans are a gracious people and all but a few stayed with me.
Our last session ended with a Q & A time. Mostly they told us how much they appreciated us coming. They loved our worship band. A few even asked Kyle Zehr, our worship leader, for the name of our band. They really rocked for Jesus (in Spanish).
A Final Thought:
The lunch we provided wouldn’t pass muster for lunches served at pastors’ conferences in the U.S. Those lunches usually consist of a nice boxed lunch with a deli sandwich, a Grey Poupon mustard and a lite mayonnaise packet, a bag of Sunchips, an apple, and a Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie. And if that doesn’t appeal, a quick run to the McDonalds or Appleby’s just around the corner is an option.
The pastors’ lunch? A scoop of spanish rice, a pice of white bread, and a cup of watered down cool-aid. Understand that we weren’t trying to be cheap. But this lunch was probably a step above their normal lunch.
These servants of God who gratefully received their paper-plated lunches reminded me of this reality. The affluent culture in which we live can often blind us to the simple things in life that much of the world does not take for granted, like a bowl of rice.
Today, ask God to show you if you’ve taken anything for granted.
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